February 22, 2018
mentioned partner Lee Brenner
in their article “9th Circ. Won't Reopen Ballers
Copyright Suit,” discussing his recent 9th Circuit victory on behalf of HBO and actors Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. The lawsuit was initially brought against Ballers
by two screenwriters, alleging the show’s plot was stolen from their show Off Season.
Lee obtained a dismissal of the $200 million copyright infringement claim, which was subsequently appealed. The 9th Circuit affirmed the decision on February 22, 2018.
“As the district court correctly explained in great detail, the plots, characters, themes, moods, settings, pace, dialogue and sequence of events between the two works are similar in only the broadest strokes,” the panel wrote. “The alleged similarities identified by appellants fall under the category of general plot ideas, familiar stock scenes, or scenes-a-faire, which are not protectable.”
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